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Things to see and do at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors

Visitors exploring the woodland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors on a sunny day
Visitors exploring the woodland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors | © National Trust Images / Trevor Ray Hart

Discover peaceful views of the Peak District on a countryside walk through parkland, ancient woodland and rugged moorland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors. Find out what you can see and do here.

Top things to see

There’s lots to see as you wander through the changing landscapes at Longshaw. Discover bubbling streams and tumbling waterfalls at Burbage Brook and Padley Gorge, find moments of quiet reflection at the once-industrious Bole Hill Quarry and Froggatt Wood, and marvel at the natural rock formations of Owler Tor. Longshaw Meadow is a haven for wildlife, while the restored pond offers tranquillity and peace.

Along the Eastern Moors, the famous Curbar Gap enjoys panoramic views over the Derwent Valley from its renowned gritstone edge, surrounded by miles of isolated open moorland. Cross through Big Moor, Totley Moss, Ramsley Moor, Leash Fen, Clod Hall Moor and White Edge Moor to experience the vast landscape of the Peak District.

Walks in the countryside

Longshaw makes an ideal base for exploring the Peak District National Park, with many waymarked routes beginning on the pathway just in front of the Longshaw Lodge. You can either plan your walk using an OS map, or take a photo of the map on the side of the welcome building in the main Woodcroft car park.

Longshaw also makes a great spot for running, jogging and speedy walks to stretch your legs and feel energised all year round.

Family-friendly things to do

There are plenty of things for families to do at Longshaw throughout the year.

Look and listen out for wildlife at Longshaw Pond, or amongst the ancient woodlands across the estate. Try the orienteering course to see if you can find your way with a map and compass, or if you want to follow a trail, pick one up from the welcome building and spot wildlife along the route.

There are also lots of places to explore and take in the nature all around you.

Take a look at our programme of events and activities here .

Wildlife to watch in spring

Northern Hairy Wood Ants

Towards the end of February on fine days the sun begins to generate some heat, stirring Longshaw’s Northern Hairy Wood Ants out of their hibernation, and into a frenzy of nest repair. The ravages of winter and the scrabbling of hungry badgers looking for grubs will have caused much damage. Ants will be out collecting bits of twigs, rushes and needles from trees to rebuild their domed nests.

The Northern hairy wood ant is a protected species. It depends on the honeydew produced by aphids which live in the canopy of oak, birch and pine trees. In return for the honeydew the ants protect the aphids from other predators. You might be able to spot their trails from tree to nest across the estate. It is fascinating to watch them at work as they bring materials for the nest or go back and forth to bring home a meal.

Ground nesting birds

From the end of February, you may hear the first warbling calls of the curlews as they return to the moors and pastures to nest. They will spend some time pairing up and searching for a nest site amongst the rushy ground.

Woodland Plants

As the days get warmer and longer woodland plants appear and begin to flower. They flower much earlier than plants in the meadows and fields as they need to grow quickly before the trees come into full leaf and cut out the light from the sun. Some years oaks are only just starting to leaf towards the end of May, beech trees come into leaf much sooner.
So, from early April onwards look out for yellow celandines, white wood sorrell, wood anemones, and the gradual build-up of bluebells towards their awesome display from late April into May. Haywood at Longshaw is a great place to see woodland flowers.

Farming at Longshaw

Pregnant ewes will be grazing at Longshaw from the end of February and soon after that their lambs will be with them. If you are out with your dog, please remember to keep it on a short lead as pregnant ewes and lambs can be easily scared, which can cause them harm.

Cows and their calves also graze across the estate, helping us to restore wood pasture on the Sheffield Plantation and improve the moorland habitat on Burbage Brook and White Edge.

A sheep and a lamb grazing at Longshaw
A sheep and a lamb grazing at Longshaw | © Kev Dunnington

A spring time walk

The pink walking route is great in spring. As you pass through the yew trees you can look out to the lambs in the fields on your way to the chicks in the duckpond. As you drop into Padley Gorge more wildlife will present itself—if you’re feeling like exploring, head deeper into the woodland to be surrounded by birdsong and find the Northern hairy wood ants. As you return to Longshaw Café, keep an eye on the meadow for rabbits, hares, and our local birds of prey overhead.

What's happening in the Kitchen Garden?

We start sowing seeds in March but most of the produce won't be planted out until May time. Longshaw kitchen garden is at about 1100 feet above sea level, possibly one of the highest kitchen gardens in the National Trust, so the season starts later.

A red deer stag with large antlers looing head on at the camera while standing on the moors at Longshaw
Red deer stag at Longshaw | © National Trust / Kev Dunnington

Connect with nature

Take the time to stop and appreciate all the joys and that sense of wellbeing that nature provides when exploring Longshaw. Feel inspired by the sights all around you and tune in to the sound of your feet making their way acorss the landscape. The outdoors and being closer to nature gives us that sense of freedom and wonderment, and now more than ever we have turned to nature to help us escape from the everyday. In return we all need to care for our countryside, coasts, woodlands, fields and meadows so that nature can thrive.

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Visitors sitting at picnic benches outside the café at Longshaw, with a view of the moors in the background

Eating and shopping at Longshaw 

Enjoy a brew with a view at the Longshaw Café where you’ll find a range of sandwiches, snacks and drinks, or pop to the second-hand bookshop to discover your next read.

Visitors climbing on a tree in the Owler Tor area of Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

Family-friendly things to do at Longshaw 

Longshaw Estate, is a stunning backdrop for a family adventure in the great outdoors. Find out about the things you can do with your family, and look out for our seasonal activities throughout the year.

Two climbers sitting at the edge of Bole Hill Quarry At Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Mors, with more climbers ascending the rock face in the background

The history of Bole Hill at Longshaw 

Bole Hill is now a quiet corner of Longshaw and a haven for wildlife, but you can still glimpse echoes of the industrial quarry that produced stone for nearby dams in Derbyshire.